This weeks weird fruit find is a horned melon, also called a kiwano. The kiwano is native to Africa, but is now grown in the United States, Chile, New Zealand and Australia. I had never seen one before, so when I was at Whole Foods recently, I grabbed one to try.
A ripe kiwano is yellow with spiky horns (which are actually pretty sharp) and is a little soft to the touch, but apparently it can be any stage of the ripening process. When you cut open the kiwano, as you can see above, the pulp is green and there are tons of seeds. Like a pomegranate, you can scoop out the pulp with the seeds and suck off the pulp and then discard the seeds. I ran the pulp through a juicer in an attempt to eliminate the seeds.
There aren't a lot of uses for kiwano in cooking, although I found a few recipes to use it in drinks, sorbets and sauces. I just decided to juice mine and drink it as is so that I could figure out what it actually tasted like. Turns out, it tastes like a cross between a cucumber, a melon and a lemon (which is an anagram of melon!).
In short, it's fun to try new foods, but for the cost of a kiwano (around $5) I'm probably not going to be buying one of these again soon.
Let me know if you've ever had a kiwano and what your experience was!